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Second batch of Nigerian returnees depart South Africa

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The flight that carried the second group of Nigerians departing from South Africa for xenophobic attacks left at the international airport O.R Tambo in Johannesburg.

Kimibie Ebenfa, a Foreign Ministry official, said 319 people were evacuated from Air Peace at around 2.58 pm

The returnees should arrive at Murtala Mohammed airport at 18:58

“We wish to inform you that the second batch of about 319 willing Nigerian returnees from South Africa has departed O. R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa, today (Wednesday) at 14h:58 local time,” Ebenfa said.

“The returnees, who were airlifted by Air Peace Airline, are expected to arrive Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, today at about 18h:58 local time.”

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The returnees were earlier scheduled to arrive in Nigeria by 8pm on Tuesday but an Air Peace aircraft detailed to evacuate them was denied landing permit by the South African government.

Godwin Adama, Nigeria’s consul-general in South Africa, later confirmed that the landing permit had been granted.

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairperson of Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), had said 640 Nigerians had indicated interest to return home from South Africa.

The first batch had seen 187 people return to the country following President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to evacuate Nigerians willing to leave the country.